This is the opposite of a lovey dovey post...You've been warned;)
It’s kind of odd to be writing a blog about relationships ending when Jo Burns Connects is all about creating and building connections. But that’s the way connections work…they begin and end and the cycle continues. We all have relationships of all different types, familial, friends, romantic, colleagues and acquaintances. Some last for a long time (they started at birth or in college), some are for a reason (you’re in a class, or serve on a board with them), some are for a season (their kid is friends with your kid, they volunteer at the same place for an event), some are for a specific transaction (they helped you so you helped them), and some we work to intentionally create. I’m at a certain point in life where many of my friends are a result of our kids being friends and now, they’re adults so that relationship has evolved. It also made me realize that I desired friends that I had authentic and uncommon connections with outside of my kiddos. I found a great women’s networking organization that fit and helped me find women and potential friends struggling with some of the same issues. (Thank you, Camp Experience Network!) Because let’s face it…making new friends as adults is challenging.
I’ve also realized that some long time relationships evolve and end, whether those are with family members or friends. What once might have held us together has dissolved. Last fall this happened to me with a dear long time friend from college. Our communications began waning over time. I became accustomed to her cancellations to share a beer over zoom (we live in different states). It just seemed to fizzle, even after I went to visit her in person. Apparently, my visiting (only outside and for a walk) had blind sided her and made her feel uncomfortable. Finally, in the fall when I had tried to connect with her one last time, she canceled again, and I was all done. The friendship was no longer serving me. We had lost the “thing” that had kept us connected for so many years. That may have been trust, maybe it was convenience, maybe it was a slew of years of shared experiences, and maybe it was because we both had changed. Don’t get me wrong, I grieved this loss, had to work through my emotions and challenges of the hole and the hurt it left. When relationships end, both parties have to reflect on what our role was, own it, accept it and move on.
Here’s the thing…changing and growing is OK and it’s normal. Each new experience adds to who we are as an individual and what we can share with others. Friendships, romantic relationships and familial relationships truly do require effort and engagement, or we can grow out of the relationships we hold dear. They also require that we be willing to be vulnerable and show our true selves, no matter how scary that may be. So, this Valentine’s, be a little un-valentiney…if there is a relationship in your life that is no longer serving you, bringing you joy, connecting you in the way that you like or that you feel isn’t providing you space to be you…kindly set if free. It will make abundant space for you to invite and allow new people to come into your life. .